News from the Director of Research - April 2024

Susan Juster

In This Issue:

  • 2024–25 Awarded Fellowships
  • Fellows Exploring Southern California
  • Conferences and Lectures

April 2024 - I am delighted to announce the 2024–25 roster of scholars who have been awarded Long-Term Fellowships, Short-Term Fellowships, and Travel Grants. This year’s cohort of Long-Term Fellows features scholars who work across the globe in multiple disciplines, from the late medieval period to the present. Their subfields include landscape architecture, Spanish colonialism, the history of disability, early modern patriarchy, Chinese imperial gardens, Asian American visual studies, the relationship between intelligence testing and eugenics, women novelists, and Nahua maps, to name just a few. We are especially excited to welcome Christin Zurbach, our inaugural Cedars Sinai/Huntington Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Medicine, who is working on the professionalization of medicine in the Ottoman Empire. ShiPu Wang, the 2024–25 Hannah and Russel Kully Distinguished Fellow in American Art, will join us in January 2025 for an eight-month residency from the University of California, Merced.

Meanwhile, the current cohort of Long-Term Fellows continues to meet weekly to workshop papers and share ideas. They have put their prodigious research skills to work in ethnographic forays to Disneyland, the Autry Museum, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (led by Fellows Shannon McHugh, Erika Peréz, and Lois Rosson, respectively) to explore Southern California’s unique culture.

On April 12 and 13, the Research Division hosted a conference on “Gods, Guns, and Gardens: China and the West, from the Manchu Conquest to the Opium Wars.” Over two days, the speakers braved the unseasonably cold weather to explore the tangled relationship of Europeans to China’s Qing dynasty and its vast sphere of influence in East and Southeast Asia. The highlight of the conference was a guided tour of the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Heritage Shōya House, led by June Li and Robert Hori.

Our final conference of the 2023–24 year will be “Futurity as Praxis: Learning from Octavia E. Butler” on May 23 and 24. The year 2024 marks the beginning of the dystopic future envisioned by Butler in her groundbreaking novel Parable of the Sower. Departing from the usual conference format of scholarly papers delivered before a largely academic audience, this two-day event brings together teachers, artists, intellectuals, and community activists to contemplate Butler’s legacy.

Finally, our last public lecture for the season will take place on April 25, with novelist and travel writer Pico Iyer delivering the 2024 Isherwood/Bachardy lecture “In Isherwood’s Footsteps: Seeing the World in the Round.” Iyer is a prolific writer, whose many subjects include the Dalai Lama, globalism, Islamic mysticism, and the Cuban Revolution. We hope you’ll join us!

Susan Juster
W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research

Previous Messages

Jan. 2024 - Fellowship Competition
Sept. 2023 - It's a New Year!
May 2023 - Getting to Know The Huntington